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Dwight Yorke will expect no favours from former team-mate Roy Keane on his return to English football.


The 34-year-old Trinidad and Tobago international is in line for his Sunderland debut in Keane's first game at the Stadium of Light against Leicester on Saturday.

However, he insists there will be no old-pals' act as the man he played alongside for four years at Manchester United attempts to maintain the perfect start to his managerial career.

Yorke said: "I am hoping it is not the case that the reason I am here is because I am his friend.

"I would like to think, from a football perspective, he sees me as a good footballer and I can bring something to Sunderland in terms of trying to get promotion.

"If I thought for a moment I was just his mate and I am going to be in the team because of that, I would not be here. I am not like that.

"I would like to think I am here for football purposes."

Despite reports to the contrary from Australia, where Yorke left Sydney FC to answer Keane's call, he had little hesitation in taking up the Irishman's offer.

He said: "When I got permission to speak to Roy, once I spoke to him on the phone, that was it.

"He knew exactly what I thought. There is no doubt I wanted to be at this club.

"This club is massive in terms of a football perspective. There is no comparison between Sunderland and Sydney FC.

"Sunderland, as far as I am concerned, is a massive club, Roy Keane as the manager played a major role in bringing me back here and, from a footballing perspective, this is the best thing that could happen to me.

"It is quite flattering, in many ways, that someone of his calibre sees you as a player and wants you to come and play for his football team.

"That speaks for itself. There are not too many people like Roy Keane around who have achieved what he has achieved in the game, so I am very happy and delighted that he wants me to come and play a major role at Sunderland."

The contrast between Keane's intense image and Yorke's laid-back style on the pitch could hardly be more stark, but the striker is adamant there is no clash.

He said: "It may be a good combination - you never know!

"Roy knows exactly what kind of person I am, he knows from a football perspective, I am a good footballer, that I can bring something to the table.

"If he did not think I could, I would not be here.

"Of course, we are different personalities - I would not want it any other way.

"Roy is what he is - what you see is what you get; I am a little bit different having been brought up in the Caribbean.

"But it does not mean we do not get on really well."

Keane has enjoyed a perfect start with Saturday's 2-1 win at Derby being followed by an excellent 3-0 victory at Leeds in midweek.

Injuries to Stephen Elliott - who could be sidelined for two months with an ankle problem - and David Connolly will mean enforced changes, and that could hand Yorke his chance.

Keane joked: "It took Yorkey a full 30 seconds to settle in. I was disappointed - I thought it would have been quicker than that.

"He settled in within a minute of meeting the players, you could sense that.

"He is that type of character. He is laid back - that is the kind of background he is from."